Qatar blockade case to appear before UN’s highest court

Qatar says the blockade has violated human rights of nationals of both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

International Court of Justice
The case was prompted by the UAE and three other countries imposing a blockade against Qatar in June 2017 [EPA-EFE]

Qatar is set to present its case against the United Arab Emirates in front of the International Court  of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, over a now year-long blockade against the Gulf nation.  

The UAE and three other countries imposed a blockade against Qatar in June 2017, which Doha argues violates human rights of both Qatari and Emirati citizens. 

On Wednesday, lawyers for Qatar get to present their cases in front of the ICJ, while representatives of the UAE will present their arguments on Thursday. 

“Qatar is accusing the UAE of discrimination against Qatar and its citizens and for violating the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination of which the UAE is a signatory,” Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker said from The Hague. 


“It’s the main reason why only the UAE is the only one of the four countries that imposed the blockade on Qatar to be appearing here,” Barker said.

The other blockading countries, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, are not signatories to this treaty.

“The case itself will focus on some of the key issues in this fierce debate,” Barker said.

The case will focus mostly on the UAE decision to expel Qatari nationals from the country and the closing of UAE airspace to Qatari air traffic.

Other arguments revolve around the UAE preventing its citizens from travelling to Qatar and to not let Qatari nationals travel go to or travel through the UAE.

“Qatar also argues that companies and individuals were denied access to property and assets and medical access,” Barker said.

Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee has estimated the blockade has affected about 13,000 people.

The committee has recorded 4,105 cases of human rights violations in the last year, including 646 family reunification violations.

The blockade started on June 5, 2017, when the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Doha and expelled Qatari citizens.

Saudi Arabia closed Qatar’s only land border and – together with the UAE and Bahrain – shuttered its airspace for Qatar Airways. 

Qatar, which has denied all allegations vehemently by the blockading countries is saying it is being punished for having an independent foreign policy.

Source: Al Jazeera